If your pet is older than you are, it could feel like they’re an entirely different species. You may notice that their fur is thinner, their teeth less sharp, and that their food doesn’t agree with them as well anymore. But what if we told you that time passes at exactly the same rate for pets as humans?
It’s true! The world of animals has its own calendar called “dog years,” which measure time based on age rather than birthdays. Here’s how to use dog years and when you should start using them instead of real years.
What Are Dog Years and What Do They Mean?
For dogs, the concept of time is measured by age. So, while you might have a birthday every year, each year is also broken down into dog years. This means that there is no such thing as a “30th anniversary” for dogs. Instead, there is only one yearly event: the current year minus the current dog’s age.
Let’s say your pup is 7 years old. That would mean that this year (2018) is equivalent to seven dog years ago. It’s important to note that, because dogs don’t experience any significant growth during their lives, their ages aren’t always accurate. For example, if your canine friend was born in the late 1990s, you’d probably expect her to be about 15 years old now. In reality, she’ll likely still be around somewhere between 6-8 years old.
There are some exceptions to this rule. Some breeds grow significantly larger over time, meaning that their age isn’t necessarily reflective of their overall health. Additionally, some people choose to count dog years differently. If you need a more precise method of calculating your dog’s age, you can try asking someone else who knows your pet better.
In general, however, dog years make sense for most dogs. And since they’re so easy to calculate, you can keep track of your pet’s age without much effort.
Converting Dog Years Into Human Years
Now that you know what dog years are, it’s time to figure out how to convert these units into proper human years. There are several ways to do so. The simplest way is to subtract it from your current age. So, let’s say that your current age is 33. Using our previous example, subtracting 33 from 2018 will give us 11 dog years.
Another approach is to add together all of your past dog years. So, if we were to take a look at our own personal timeline, we’d see that we’ve been alive for almost nine dog years. We’ve lived for 8+9=17 dog years total.
And lastly, you can simply divide your current age by 12 to get your approximate human age. So, we calculated above that our current age is 33. Dividing 33/12 gives us 2.75…which translates to 25.5 human years.
Calculate Your Current Age With a Simple Calculator
Keep in mind that calculations involving dates are often harder to perform in your head. Fortunately, you can actually find free online calculators that allow you to plug in numbers and produce results. Here’s a simple calculator you can use to determine your current age based on dog years. Type your current date (e.g., 2018), then decide whether you want subtraction, addition, or division. Then, press enter.
Adding two numbers together can be done by typing +into the space provided. Subtracting or dividing, meanwhile, requires you to input – or /first. Once again, press Enter to proceed.
This tool even allows you to type in specific values for your desired calculation. Try adding 10 to your current age to quickly discover how many years you’ve added up. Don’t forget to use quotation marks, though—if you leave them off, they won’t show up correctly. Remember that these tools work best for small numbers. Adding large figures together can result in incorrect answers.
Add or Subtract Time From Any Date in History
We’ve seen three different methods for converting dog years into human years. Now, let’s put everything together to create a complete solution. To convert dog years into human years, simply follow these steps:
Type in any two numbers corresponding to the years you wish to subtract or add.
Select Add (+) or Subtract (-).
Enter the numbers in question.
That’s it! Now that you know how to convert dog years into human years, you can use whatever works best for you. Maybe you prefer to divide by twelve and round up to find your approximate age. Or maybe you like the idea of multiplying by twelve and rounding down. Either way, it’s good to remember that you can easily switch between options. While you can certainly do this manually, having a handy shortcut helps you to save time.
Turning Back the Clock on Time
Knowing how to convert dog years to human years is helpful, but why stop there? As mentioned earlier, not everyone agrees on how to accurately calculate dog years. To illustrate this point, here are two other popular methods for doing so.
One option is to take your current year (in 2018, this would be 2019), multiply it by 13, and then add two zeros to the end. Doing so will give you the number of years you have left until 2020. Alternatively, you can use the following formula:
(Current year – 2000) ÷ 5 = New years remaining
So, if your current year is 2019, dividing 2019 by five will tell you that you have 14 years until 2030.
Be aware that these formulas can sometimes vary slightly depending on what country you live in. For instance, the United States uses four zeroes whereas Australia usually goes with six.
With that said, both of these solutions are great for figuring out how long it takes to reach certain milestones. However, neither of them help you gauge how fast time itself moves. Luckily, you can use these formulas to estimate how long things take to occur, but that is where it ends.
As you might have realized, there are many factors that affect how long it takes for events to happen. Things change year to year, after all. Therefore, you can never truly predict how long something will take.
Dogs, however, have a unique advantage: they move at the exact same pace as humans. So, unlike months or weeks, dog years provide an extremely useful unit of measurement.